Nero’s Fiddle Excerpt

nerofrontsmallBut it was too late. Leering Larry had Jaz by the door of the cage, the door already open. By the time she and Sedona reached the door, he’d dragged Jaz out and closed and locked the door behind him.

“Nooo!” Bev screamed and raced to the door on wobbly legs. She grabbed the steel bars and reached out through them.

Leering Larry stepped out of reach, his malicious laughter rankling Bev’s every nerve. Jaz struggled but he had one arm around her waist and a hand on her right arm; her struggles were in vain.

Bev rattled the unyielding door screaming, “Let her go! Leave her alone! Let her go!”

The man only laughed even as Jaz screamed, “Let me go!” her voice pleading, tears streaming down her face.

He let go of her arm then. “Don’t worry, darlin’,” he growled in her ear. “I’ll be gentle.” His free hand flipped up the bottom of her t-shirt far enough for him to slip his hands into the front of her jeans.

“Stop! Please, stop! Stop it” she screamed until she ran out of breath.

Bev was on the verge of hysterics. She ran from one side of the cage to the other, rattling the bars, screaming Jaz’s name,
screaming profanities, screaming what she would do to Leering Larry once she got her hands on him.

Sedona stood weeping and crying, “No, no, no,” repeatedly, feeling helpless to do anything, impotent rage making her shake and shudder, praying, God, dear God, where are you, do something, do something, please do something!

Leering Larry tossed his head back and laughed.

The gunshot made Sedona and Bev scream out in surprise.

Time, heartbeats, the very air itself, all froze in that moment.

A hole appeared in the center of Leering Larry’s forehead. For a moment, only a moment, his body stood, rigid. His arm dropped from around Jaz’s waist, his hand slipped from her jeans and he fell in a heap to the ground.

No one moved. No one spoke.

Jaz stood gasping for breath, almost unaware the man no longer had her in his grasp. Splotches of red dotted her face and hair. She turned slowly and stared down at her assailant, dead on the ground.

Bev and Sedona looked at one another.

Then Bev looked beyond Sedona.

To where Michael stood, his mother’s Sig in his hands, smoke still issuing from the muzzle. He stared straight ahead, wide-eyed, mouth open, face pale beneath the pink sunburn still on his skin.

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